Category Archives: Other Systems

Some More Lovely Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Art and the Character Sheet

Art is progressing rather nicely for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth and I wanted to share more of it as it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything!

First- here’s a link to the Barbarians character sheet for anyone who wants it:)!

Second- ART!!!

David Lewis Johnson Art

Zora the Barbarian easily deflected the Raiders attack, but Atook fell pray to their dirty fighting tactics!

While Rathu the Sorcerer fled the grasp of a Flaming Raider!!

The band of heroes finds that these green men are neither little nor friendly.

Green fog is a terrible blight that has wiped out many a village in the Ruined Earth.

Weapons and a car door shield- armaments commonly used in the Ruined Earth.

JV West Art

A Killer Clown is an unexpected and terrifying foe!

Ahtook and Rathu look on in horror as Zora is fried by a Lightning Man!

Atook the Beastman guiltily smiles at his irritated companions. How was he to know mutants were so quick to anger…?

A vile Sorcerer uses his Devastation Machine to destroy a peaceful village!

Layout Samples for Orcs! A High-Octane Adventure!

With only three days left in the Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Kickstarter, I wanted to take a moment to show off some samples of the sexy layout of Orcs! A High-Octane Adventure! A third level adventure for Hubris: A Visceral World of Adventure! The layout has been done by none other than the amazing and talented Jez Gordon. Hubris uses Dungeon Crawl Classics as its ruleset.

Orcs is the fourth stretch goal ($4k away from it as of writing this) for the Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Kickstarter (I talked about the second and third stretch goal in a post the other day)! I’ve ran this adventure at Gen Con for three years now and every time, everyone has a deadly, but fun time.:)

Orcs does not use a map and instead took inspiration from Zzarchov’s Scenic Dunnsmouth (published by Lamentations of the Flame Princess) and uses a deck of playing cards to generate the map. Many of the rooms have random events that occur after the group enters it, keeping the players on their toes because the unexpected could always happen 🙂

The adventure also features a new class for Hubris and DCC: The Gunslinger! The last two sample spreads have all the class information, for those who are interested.

Here is a snippet from the intro of the book:

Introduction

Orc! A High Octane Adventure! is inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road and Snowpiercer movies and the Gears of War video games.  The adventure is designed for four to six 3rd-level characters set in the Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure campaign setting but can be used with other DCC settings (or OSR campaigns) as well with some tweaking of the locations and names.  The adventure is fast paced, with deadly combat encounters with orcs and their alchemically altered abominations. 

There is no set map.  Instead the Judge will draw a set number of playing cards and consult the card description contained in the adventure to determine the order of cars and events (and create their map). 

Background

The Black Queen rests upon her throne of bones in her fortress on the Floating Island of Terror.  As she satiates herself on the nightmares of her subjects, her desire for power grows.  As the Hubris becomes increasingly reliant on her marvelous technology, her ability to weave herself deeper into a kingdom’s local politics, extending her network of spies, assassins, manipulating pawns, and demanding higher prices for her goods. 

Over time a railway between the kingdoms of Hubris and the Kelisk in the Land of Perpetual Stone and Mire has been constructed, allowing for goods to quickly reach their destinations and people to travel between kingdoms easily and with less danger (usually).  This adventure begins with the train traveling from Fairweather (Hubris, pg 102) in the Great Plains of Unbidden Sorrow to Kelisk (Hubris, pg 120) in the Land of Perpetual Stone and Mire.  The promise of efficiency and safety which is constantly touted as a sure thing due to this technological wonder is quickly shattered when a large orc raiding band attacks the train, turning the leisurely ride into a savage blood bath.  This is not an adventure where the party can hunker down, create a defensive position, and wait it out.  Attempting to do that will surely result in their capture or death.  There is no rest.  There is no reprieve.  There is only the surety of battle, the onslaught of the enemy, and the taste of blood. 

Winning the Adventure

Are there really any winners in Hubris…?  Well, that’s for each Judge to decide!  However, the goal of completing this adventure is to get to the front of the train, take over the engine car and defeat the Big Bad Monster. 

Other Bits and Bauble

At the end of the adventure there is a small section to generate random events throughout the adventure, a table to generate events should the group decide to clamber onto the roof of the cars, and suggestions on what to do should the group abandon the train (and the adventure) and attempt to escape on foot.

There is a list of special new bullets for wheellock weaponry that can be created by an Alchemist through Alchemical Tinkering (Hubris, pg 15) and finally a new class for DCC and Hubris: The Gunslinger! 

And Now the Spreads!

Hope you all enjoy!


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Character Sheet and Restructuring How I Organize My Games

This morning Matt Hildebrand sent me an updated version of the Barbarians character sheet and I wanted to throw it up on the blog.

The Kickstarter Update

The Kickstarter is progressing well and we still have 23 days left! We are currently hovering at the $8.5k mark. So there’s still a ways to go until funding, but I’m hopeful!

Reorganizing My How I Run My Games

This subject will feed into a longer series of posts, but I wanted to kick it off here. Due to RL obligations with work, DIY RPG Productions projects, and other general assfuckery, I’ve lost the wind in my sails to run my games.

There are several factors in this (stress, anxiety, burnout, work, not enough time to run or play in shit, etc.), but for this post I just want to focus on the fact that I am unhappy with how I’ve been running my games lately and how I’ve been organizing. So rather than continue to be frustrated and wallow in the murky mire that is self-pity, I decide to examine what I was doing and what I didn’t like and where I could go from there.

First- I’m not a huge fan of having my notes digital. I do it, because I hate wasting paper, but I have to have all these word documents and PDFs open, then I have to scroll through everything, and it just becomes tedious.

Awhile back I tried to bridge the gap by keeping important stuff in a notebook, but nope. Now I had notes all over the computer AND in a fucking notebook- that equaled more work.

Recently I’ve been thinking of how I used to organize my notes when I started RPGing back in mid-90s and into my college years and remembered I used to use 3×5 note cards for all my shit and kept my notes super lite.

This weekend I decided to read through Sly Flourish’s Lazy Dungeon Master and Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master to see if he had any thoughts/advice that hadn’t occurred to me. The book is a fun read and while it isn’t anything groundbreaking (I do recommend the books), it did remind me of a similar way I used to run my games and had some advice with a few new tips and tricks- that’s a win!

Also Skullfungus posted his notebook on Twitter about dungeon design and it was a great reminder on keeping shit simple (so thanks for that!). Along with nods to Goblin Punch and Grognardia.

I’m going full-on organized by index cards and taking the Lazy DM approach of only what is absolutely needed. A few other categories have wormed their way in since I took this picture (being items, previous adventures, and one more- but fuck all I can’t remember).

My Barbarians of the Ruined Earth group has been adventuring in the Western Sands for the past seven sessions (we only get to play once a month and we haven’t played in three months now…) and I don’t see them leaving the area anytime soon.

While tracking everything on note cards won’t be any different than how I currently write my games- in short hand and lite to keep the players and their agency the focus, I think that my way of organizing has become a sloppy mess, like the floor at a rest stop bathroom.

Once I get all the cards written, I plan on typing them up and releasing them for free on the blog to anyone who is interested and wants to run a game in BotRE and the Western Sands.

The Western Sands


Barbarians the Ruined Earth: Episode 4- The Terror of Isotope, Part 3- The Finale

We continue the adventures of our heroes as the enter the vile Sorcerer Isotope’s Devastation Machine!

The Players

Note: All these classes linked on my blog are the old versions and several changes have been made to the final product.

Angie- Isosceles the Sorcerer

Emma- Robbie the Robot

Nate- Pongo the Armadite

Sami- A Death Priest

Kevin- Short Round the Urban Urchin

Jamie- Kermie the Toad Beastman

Katie- Xena the Barbarian

Brian- A Vek

Note: I’m still a jerk because I got busy and never looked up Brian’s and and Sami’s characters names.

Part one here and part two here.

What is Wrong With Your Brain…?

The session started with the group at full hit points, standing at the entrance of the Devastation, located at the base of this monstrous metallic pyramid.  Short Round opened the door and was immediately blasted out of the way by a large laser beam.  

Two robotic heads, the size of a child, emerged from the door.  The heads didn’t float, but instead walked on robotic arms attached to their heads where there ears should be.  

One of the robots turned to Xena the Barbarian and opened its mouth.  A high pitched screech issued, stunning the barbarian for a moment.  In the moment of confusion, the second robot turned to Isosceles and blasted her with a laser beam from its mouth.  

Aside from those two lucky shots, the group rolled really well and kicked the shit out of the robot heads.  After the fight the group asked where I came up with those enemies and I said, “I had a dream about them.”

Someone (most likely my wife, I think) said, “What is wrong with your brain?”  After a few jokes about my brain and a few laughs, we moved on.

 

Note: You can find all my images on my Instagram, if ya are interested.

The first floor was dilapidated, dark, and ruined. It looked like repairs were underway, but weren’t very far along. The group had fun on the first floor, mostly with the Pot-bellied Pig Raider. I described the little anthropomorphic piggie baddie with a stomach that hung down between its legs and dragged behind it like a wet, deployed parachute. That grossed them out- win for me. Someone had a vomit bomb, can’t remember who, and threw it in the room causing the Pot-bellied Pig Raider to begin barfing its brains out, taking a little bit of damage.

The group rushed in and made quick work of the porker (I was REALLY bummed that I didn’t get to use its swallow whole ability. I think there would have been something said, about a human creature squirming in its belly as it bobbed around attacking people with a huge cleaver… but alas!). The group then had to deal with two new head with arm sentries, but instead of walking on the ground, these had propeller arms coming out of their ears and fired lasers from its mouth from afar.

After the battle, the group decided NOT to look the Pot-bellied Pig Raider, giving the corpse a wide berth… but Emma did loot the propeller arms to attach to her robotic body at a later date.

The second room of note was the room with more art work of Isotope going through the various stages of aging, to then become young and start the process over again.

After the floor was explored, they stepped onto a teleporter and ascended to the second floor.

Second Floor



Like the first floor, this floor was in a state of repair, but looked much more put together. Lights worked, the floors and walls were cleaner, etc. The group hit all the rooms in the second floor (as there were only four, might be a little sad if they didn’t:P). The group was horrified at the room of thousands of urns, which they believed held the remains of those Isotope siphoned the life out of to remain young.

They freed the slaves from the pens, convinced a few to help them fight Isotope, and met a young man named Vin, who told them if they were ever at Nukatomi Plaza, to visit him in the Park Block.

In the Ceremonial room they were happy to find some Stupendous Science items, but didn’t have time to analyze them.

With the the second floor clear, they hopped onto another teleporter and ascended to the third, and final, floor.

Third Floor

The group appeared in a large open room, pristine compared to the first two floors. Against the far northern wall and attached to the ceiling was a large metal orb with wires and transistors protruding from it. Underneath a woman was strapped into a machine and she was screaming, lighting and energy arcing off her body, traveling up the wires to the transistors above. Another second later and a pile of ash was all that remained of the woman.

A powerful voice filled the room, “Who dares enter the chambers of the great Sorcerer, Isotope?!”

The metallic orb split open and a man with stern features, clad in purple clothing and an intricate octagonal purple helmet with a red game at the crest, floated to the floor.

“You are like insects to me! I am a god amongst the weak! Forever! Eternal!”

The group shouted some shit about only being able to live because he was stealing the life force of others and that he was a bad, bad man!

Isotope shouted a cliche super-villain response like, “I will show you power!” or something and small fleshy tendrils began to grow from his fingernails, each ending with a small bulb, like a tulip (think of the the old Stretch Armstrong dolls when you’d pull the arms really far… or silly putty, come to think of it). The tendrils grew about 15′ long and the bulbs opened like flowers, revealing tiny infant-like hands. The infantile hands slapped on the ground, sounding like wet lunch meet hitting pavement, raising Isotope high into the air.

And with that, we rolled initiative. This fight was pretty brutal. The group had only fought robots and raiders up until this point and I’ve never thrown them against a Sorcerer. He blasted them with radiation beams (Xena the Barbarian became mutated and now has a forked tongue she can make attacks up to 10′ away with it… lucky). He hit them with telekinesis, lasers, summoned more sentries, energy webs, and more. It was an awesome fight and when Xena landed the last blow, it was very satisfying.

Xena drove her blade into Isotope’s stomach; he leaned into the blade, blood trickling from his mouth, “there is worse in this dessert than me. You will be sorry for what you have done.” His flesh flaked, cracked, and crumbled to dust. Short Round was quick to pick up his helmet (which had become damaged during the fight).

Alarms began ringing and a low rumble was felt in the floor plates. The group vacated the Devastation Machine with all due haste. We flashed forward to the group standing at the edge of the Snakeman Village, watching in awe as the Isotope’s Devastation Machine shook off the sand; the metallic pyramid gleamed in the sunlight. Near the top of the pyramid, where’s its ears should be (heh) on all four sides, huge portals opened and massive metal tubes telescoped out, hands forming on the ends, slamming into the ground, lifting the mammoth structure up.

The group watched as Isotope’s Devastation Machine began lumbering across the Western Sands.

“Well that’s something you don’t see every day…” Said Short Round.

With that we leveled up and ended the session.

Aside: This was a great end to the session! We only get to play once a month, so it is quite an exercise in patience for me wait so long to see all this shit come to fruition, but man it’s worth it 😀


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Preface

I’ve gotten a few email/messages asking questions about what Barbarians of the Ruined Earth is all about, so I decided to put up the book’s Preface that will be in the book to answer some of these questions.

Hope you enjoy!

Preface

May of 2015 and 2016 brought great moments of massive inspiration for me.  In May of 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road roared onto the big screen and about made me pee my pants, I loved it so much.  Like LOVED.IT. Like it’s on the same level as the original Star Wars trilogy for me. Watching that movie was like seeing the constant inner monologue of my brain- all the thrash and drone of heavy metal, the imagery from amazing punk rock and heavy metal albums, magazines and smaller zines, and the disgusting, grimy, yet sexy and borderline indecent, dystopian future-feel I love so much- playing on a theater screen.  A blind, toothless albino dude who shreds some metal on a guitar that spews fire?! Ummm, yes please!

In May of 2016, I was hanging with Wayne Snyder (It’s Wizard Time, motherfuckers!) and he asked if I’d ever seen Thundarr the Barbarian.  I told him no and he was all, “Well guess what we’re watching next!” I could tell he was really stoked to get to expose me to this show… and oh man, is it good.  Thundarr the Barbarian is the Saturday morning cartoon equivalent of Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s weird, crazy, and amazing! It’s battling beast creatures on a bridge of light suspended over a volcano!  It’s a mad wizard with hundreds of eyeballs spewing lightning bolts at his adversaries! It’s ape-men bringing a giant animatronic ape creature to life, so they destroy a village of tiny people! It’s my jam.  Thanks Wayne!

While several other influences went into Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, really- it’s these two that fueled much of my inspiration.  With that said, you won’t find a whole lot of fluff or history in this book; that’s not the point of it. I hope the art, classes, monsters, random tables, and sample territory relay that information while still being useful at the table.

Barbarians, much like its sources of inspiration, is meant to be fast-paced, epic, and bizarre.  It’s a Saturday morning cartoon, sans the plot armor; best enjoyed with a smile and a big bowl of sugary cereal.  Adventures don’t need to make sense, be rational, or have a sense of realism (honestly- best leave all that shit at the door).  The world is twisted, untamed, and dangerous: hideous creatures burble and roar, thrashing through the world like an energized mechanical bull blasting through a china shop.  Sorcerer’s dress like they are straight out of a 1980’s WWF wrestling match, a luchador, or wearing some grand Alexander McQueen Avante Garde design. They (and other villains) are nefarious, giggling in delight at inflicting pain or stamping their feet while shouting dastardly plans; you know, some weird/fun tongue in cheek and overly complicated game of cat-and-mouse.

Your players will pit themselves against Animated Trash Men that fling kitchen sinks or wet globs of toilet paper at them, make uneasy deals with Strange Ones for safe passage through some bizarre and dangerous area, free slaves that toil endlessly picking Sorrow Tulips for their cruel masters, and of course just straight up fucking over evil Sorcerer’s who come pelvic thrusting into the world, tongue out, devil horns in the air while they blaze a trail of destruction in their Devastation Machine.

All that I hope is that Barbarians brings you and your group some great (and bizarre) fun, smiles, and laughs.

Grab some friends.  Grab some dice. Keep rolling… “– Mike Evans


Been Bloggin’ For 10 Years, Hubris Went Platinum and Here’s More Barbarians Art!

I got a notification from WordPress this AM- “Congratulations! You’ve been blogging for 10 years!” That is crazy! I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for that long! It’s been a wonderful (albeit sometimes stressful) experience.

Because of blogging and communities like RPG Bloggers and the now deader than a door nail G+ community, I’ve gotten to meet some really kick ass people! I’ve become close friends with several of them and am so thankful for all of this.

Meeting many of you at Gen Con has been a thrill and a great time and I look forward to this coming Gen Con to reconnect, cuddle, and toss back a few pints of beer!

Because of blogging I was encouraged (and able) to start a publishing company with works that people enjoy, support, and are excited about.

Because of blogging I was able to rekindle a love for a hobby that I was on the way to MAJOR burnout and getting ready to shelve it…

Thanks to everyone for the support and reading! Whether you are new to my blog or have been with me the whole time. I appreciate you.

Ok- enough gushing.

Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure

I went on to Drivethru the other day to look at new books and decided to scan through my publishing catalogue to see if there were any new reviews or comments and lo and behold! I discovered that Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure has gone Platinum! Blew my mind! I am fucking thrilled that so many people dig this book!

On the Hubris front, Jez Gordon has finished preliminary layout on the first Hubris module- Orcs! A High Octane Adventure! for 3rd level characters. Once Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Kickstarter is complete (that’ll launch in June, I’m thinking), I’ll be able to focus more of my attention on getting art and stuff for that!

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

Speaking of Barbarians– I’ve got some new art to share! These are two new pieces by JV West!

Aside: If you are interested in seeing sample spreads of the book, click here. If you want to see all art I’ve shared from the book, click here.

Hirelings found in the Ruined Earth- Art by JV West


Zora the Barbarian gets bashed by a Car Golem while Rathu the Sorcerer and Atook the Beastman are lost in the creature’s toxic smog.

Barbarians the Ruined Earth: Episode 3- The Terror of Isotope, Part 2

Players

Note: All these classes linked on my blog are the old versions and several changes have been made to the final product.

Angie- Isosceles the Sorcerer

Emma- Robbie the Robot

Nate- Pongo the Armadite

Sami- A Death Priest

Kevin- Short Round the Urban Urchin

Jamie- Kermie the Toad Beastman

Katie- Xena the Barbarian

Brian- A Vek

Note: I’m still a jerk because I got busy and never looked up Brian’s and and Sami’s characters names.

Sneaking Around a Dangerous Situation

Note: Previous session here.

We continue our Barbarians of the Ruined Earth adventures with my my group raring to go, so we jumped right into the action this session!  The group started on the outskirts of the Snakemen Village; several large sand dunes dotted the landscape, with a central pyramid-shaped one in the middle.  Steam could be seen issuing from a fissure in the ground by it. 

I placed the map of the Snakmen village in front of the group. Their map just showed “Dunes”, “Violet Cactus Field”, “Animal Pen”, “Carrion Cage”, and “Slave Pen.”

I designed this to be run quickly and generate what the hell was in each area on the fly (cause fuck if I know where my group is gonna go).

Anyways, I slapped the unlabeled map down and tell them that they have done a preliminary scouting around the perimeter of the village and this is what they see.

The Group Makes a Plan… And Skips Most of- well… EVERYTHING

After a quick discussion the group decides to approach the town from the South and approach the animal pen. Inside they saw a hybrid-animal that was the body of a pig with hundreds of earthworms spewing from the beast’s shoulders and surrounding its head. The group decided NOT to open the pen and let the creatures out, as they were too creepy.

The group headed Northeast and slowly approached the slave pen. They used their Charisma to excite the slaves before setting them free, hoping it would provide a distraction. It did.

Capitalizing on the distraction, the group entered one of the active dunes and were attacked by a Sandstriker lying in wait. The group made quick work of the snakeman and discovered a tunnel leading underground.

The group decides they don’t want to explore any more of the upper village and instead wanted to delve into the depths. The group moved slowly, with Nate taking point to sense any vibrations of hidden enemies. Nate felt two snakemen lying in wait, hoping to ambush the party.

The group charged in and perished the snakemen in most expeditious fashion. In the room they noted tapestries of a man with powerful and stern features lining the walls, figuring it was the visage of the Sorcerer, Isotope. They set them on fire and moved down the left tunnel, before making a right and coming upon the base of a gigantic metal pyramid. Standing at attention at a door were two more Sandstriker.

The group had a little more trouble with this fight and both Sandstrikers passed their Die-hard save. Sami was dropped to zero HP twice and two other PCs were dropped to low HP before the Sandstrikers were killed.

The group made their way back to the room with the tapestries, barricaded the doors, and took a rest to heal up and refresh abilities.

We ended the session there for the evening. It was a fun, albeit quick, session. The first combats went by too easily with some great rolls by the players, so I was happy to have one present more of a challenge at the end.

Aside: This session highlights why I like easy, randomly generated dungeons. My group chose a direction and made their way and it bypassed damn near everything. While I admit that is frustrating it some ways, it’s also important (to me, at least) that dungeons have multiple entrances, tunnels, secrets, etc. My group could have made the choice to explore every nook and cranny (and find some fat loot), but they didn’t. But it also doesn’t mean I need to stat up and describe every room either :P.

Next Session: The group makes their way into Isotope’s Devastation Machine!